Main Library seeks feedback on renovations

Main Library seeks feedback on renovations

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's a discussion happening for you. It's to make sure the Downtown Library represents what you want after its yearlong renovations.

If you want to join the conversation and weigh in for yourself, you can leave your comments on their website here and also view notes from their community forums while also learning about the renovations planned for the Main Library.

Wednesday was the second of three community forums aimed to make sure the Main Library's renovations accommodate you, your needs and concerns.

"The closure is an inconvenience, but if you take the long view you gain a lot in the balance," said Jay Welenc, a Toledo resident and library customer. "I think it is necessary to make sure everything is done quickly."

"I'm impressed with the renovations, but at the same time I'm kind of sad because I've been working with the homeless as a volunteer for many years and they don't have that many options in the downtown," explained Richard Arnold, a frequent and longtime customer of the Main Library.

Some concerns were addressed Wednesday during the forum after a month of debrief and discussion among library staff and the community. They are making plans to accommodate the homeless population, make local history resources available and work with community partners to enhance their services at multiple branches of the Toledo Lucas County Library during the downtown construction.

Leaders are grateful for the feedback they have gotten and hope it doesn't stop because the conversation is ongoing.

"I hope we get a lot of really challenging ideas tonight," said Meg Delaney, Main Library Manager. "And then we will go forward work with those ideas and then share that info on June 28th, which is our third meeting."

The library showed their more than $10 million  plans to renovate the parking level and main floor of the library. Those plans include additional technology and meeting areas making them more visible and accessible for customers.

"We really want to start to show people what that's looking like and then get their ideas on how could that be used and who would use it so that during the time we are closed we can work with those partners, to figure out how we are going to fill those spaces," explained Delaney.

Community members were able to provide positive and negative feedback on the renovation plans at Wednesday's forum.

"I hope they can accommodate both the young who depend mostly on electronic technology and people like myself," said Richard Arnold. "I just turned 60, who depend on this library and for whom books will always be an option."

"It's the technology it's the resources it's the people interacting with the public that's something my students do regularly at the library," said Jay Welenc, a teacher at the Toledo School for the Arts who requires his students visit the library. "So, all of those opportunities at the same time make the complete package it's not one thing by itself."

The Main Library hopes to have a plan to present for the public at their next forum scheduled for June 28th from 6-8 pm. Leaders say while they have a month until that meeting, they will be taking feedback and input up until their next meeting.

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